7 Best Movies to Learn English

Hannah Johnson
March 1, 2022 ·
4 min read
Inspiration

Learning English is much easier if the process is enjoyable. Compared to studying with a textbook, watching movies is way more engaging and entertaining. Nevertheless, it’s as useful as pleasurable, and here is why:

You can learn words and collocations in a context. Memorizing words is crucial for enhancing your vocabulary, but without a real-life context, they’ll probably be stored in your passive vocabulary. It means that you won’t be able to use them during a conversation or while writing. Films help you learn how and when to use new words.

You can listen to the real pronunciation. There are so many words to learn and you probably don’t have the time to memorize the pronunciation of every one of them. Movies are a great way to listen to the correct way of saying words. Besides, movies can help you choose what accent is your favorite: British or American. Textbooks, on the other hand, rarely focus on English accents.

You find out what is real native English. Learning grammar and vocabulary from textbooks is great, but it’s less efficient than listening to real native speakers. The natural way of speaking in movies is much closer to the one you desire to achieve than academic and a little bit “artificial” English in textbooks. By observing how actors communicate, you may sound like a native speaker far sooner. 

Best Movies for Learning English

Let’s look at the list of films that in our opinion help you learn the language by displaying the natural way of speaking and contain some rich vocabulary:

The Theory of Everything (2014)

The Theory of Everything tells the story of Stephen Hawking – one of the most famous physicists of our time. The movie is focused on his relationship with Jane Wilde and his fatal illness (ALS) diagnosed in his early twenties. 

If you love the British accent this film is the right choice for you. Many of the actors speak “the Queen’s”, which is considered upper-class, correct and clear English. The characters use difficult scientific words. Watch this movie if you already speak English well enough to make it more advanced. 

Great Gatsby (2013)

The Great Gatsby is a historical romantic drama movie based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel. A Wall Street trader, Nick Carraway finds himself captivated by the past and lifestyle of his extremely wealthy neighbor, Jay Gatsby. After being a part of his life for some time, Nick figures out the dark and ugly background behind Jay’s rich existence.

The movie is good for language learners who want to learn more about America in the 1920s. The characters’ slow dialogues and the amazing soundtrack are perfect for enjoyable English learning. 

Harry Potter (2001-2011)

Most probably, you’re familiar with the story of Harry Potter, an orphaned wizard, created by British author Joanne Rowling. The movies are about Harry’s magical adventures. All the main characters go to a magic school called Hogwarts. 

If you’re new to watching movies in English, Harry Potter is a good choice to start. The first two movies were made for a young audience, so the dialogues are slow and easy to understand.

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

The Shawshank Redemption has been voted as one of the best films ever made and is based on a book by Stephen King. A formerly successful banker was sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of a crime he didn’t commit. Over many years, he gets closer to another prisoner, they both find solace in their tragic situations.

Not surprisingly, the dialogues in the movie are full of difficult legal words as well as lots of American slang. 

Little Women (2019)

The movie tells the story of the lives of four sisters, growing up in New England during the Civil War. It shows their feelings, dreams, illnesses, and life lessons from childhood to young adulthood. The film is based on a novel written by American novelist Louisa May Alcott and is considered an autobiographical piece.

Little Women is a great choice for English learners because of clear dialogues and the story that makes people empathize with their family’s feelings. 

Forrest Gump (1994)

Forrest Gump, who is played by Tom Hanks, is a kind man with a low IQ. The film follows his entire extraordinary life and is narrated by Forrest himself. He accidentally takes part in some important moments in history without realizing it. The movie is funny and will make you feel good.

Forrest’s speech is slow and easy to understand, therefore it’s the right choice for English beginners. However, he often uses a lot of American slang, so it’s great for advanced learners as well.

The Social Network (2010)

This movie follows the story of Mark Zuckerberg, a genius Harvard student, who developed a revolutionary global social network in his dorm room. The network then has entirely changed the way we communicate with other people. Zuckerberg becomes famous and the youngest billionaire in history, but money and fame lead to personal and legal issues.

Aaron Sorkin, who has written the script, is well-known for his natural dialogues and funny lines, so the movie is enjoyable to watch and is easy to follow. You’ll find many advanced words related to computers, technology and social networks.

Final Thoughts

Your English learning won’t be boring for you from now on. Use subtitles if you wish. However, we recommend avoiding pausing to look for translation in the dictionary as it may stop you from enjoying the movies. Don’t forget to memorize new words and practice using them in real life. Have fun!